menu

How to Make an Outline for an Entertaining Speech


The words "public speaking" strike fear into the hearts of many otherwise brave men and women. Yet, with careful preparation and practice, anyone can deliver a speech that is both informative and entertaining. If you have been given a public speaking assignment -- whether for a wedding, business gathering or civic event -- you can outline your remarks in a three-part format comprised of the introduction, the body of the speech and the conclusion.

Write your introduction. In the outline, begin by greeting your audience and thank them for their attendance. Be sure to acknowledge your hosts as well. In addition, give a brief statement establishing your credibility. This statement may reference your personal or professional experience, for example. Preview your speech's main points in this part of the outline.

Begin the next portion of the outline with a transition statement that moves the speech from the introduction to the main body. This statement may be a "review/preview," a rhetorical question or a signpost.

Write the body of your speech. Start your speech proper with an "attention grabber." This might be a question, an anecdote, a quote or an analogy. In a sentence or two, tie your theme to the audience. This can be done, for example, by stating something like "The reason we're all here today..." Write your main points, making sure that each one has at least two sub-points. For each sub-point, give at least two statements of evidence in support.

Write your conclusion. This portion of the speech will allow you to review and summarize your main points. Reconnect to the audience, reminding them of the purpose of the gathering. Make your concluding remarks, thanking audience members for their time and attention and signaling the end of your talk.

Tip
  • Use transition statements between the introduction and the body, between each main point and between the main body and the conclusion.
About the Author

Colby Phillips' writing interests include culture and politics. Phillips received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Oregon and a Master of Arts in philosophy from Boston College.

Photo Credits
  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images